With the name of centre-half Chris Basham added to Bramall Lane’s injured list ahead of the meeting with Tony Mowbray’s side, Heckingbottom’s room for maneuver in terms of team selection is dangerously narrowing to one stage. review of the season.
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The red card Charlie Goode received in the game against Rovers, which rules him out of clashes with fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough as well as this weekend’s contest, puts even more pressure on a defense already missing Enda Stevens, Jayden Bogle and Jack O’ Connel.
Asked if any of the players who have faced Rovers have suffered knocks, Heckingbottom told The Star: “You never know straight away. It’s usually the next day, or within 24 hours. , that it becomes clear when they come back in. What I can say is that we weren’t counting them like we did on our last one.
McGoldrick was referring to events towards the end of United’s threading at Swansea City six days ago, which ended with George Baldock, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Basham all booked for treatment.
Baldock and Norrington-Davies both recovered in time to face Rovers. But there are fears Basham could miss United’s push for top-six qualification after being diagnosed with medial collateral ligament damage. The 33-year-old, whose contract expires shortly, recently indicated that he plans to trigger a clause giving him the right to a new contract after making a predetermined number of starts.
Heckingbottom admitted Basham faces “at least two weeks”, although MCL issues usually take around six weeks to heal properly – provided there are no complications. A scan and new consultations with a specialist should tell more in the coming days.
“It’s football,” said Heckingbottom, speaking in general terms about fitness issues which he says have been exacerbated by a fixture schedule which has already seen United play six games this month. “Not too long ago we were able to reduce the squad, both in terms of numbers and budget, which is important, but we still leave ourselves in an arguably stronger position with two for each position all the way up the pitch. Now suddenly things have changed. We just have to get through as many games as we can. We’re going to get through this.
United moved up to sixth in the table, taking a leap forward Middlesbrough, when substitute Ben Davies swept home in the 92nd minute of a thrilling encounter with Rovers. Mowbray’s men had previously seen a penalty, taken by Reda Khadra, saved; goalkeeper Wes Foderingham making a superb block to deny the German.
“We’ll take a look at all the guys,” Heckingbottom said. “We think everything will be fine (after Rovers) and we don’t think there’s anything new there. But, as I’ve made clear before, you can never really be sure. until things calm down a bit.